Betobetosan – べとべとさん 21. August 2023

Betobetosan is one of the yokais to which sounds rather than a physical appearance are attributed. It is a ghostly being that attracts attention by the sound of its footsteps – the “Beto Beto” – the clatter of wooden Geta sandals on the ground. Other representatives of this group include “Bishagatsuku”, whose name derives from the “Bisha Bisha sound” of feet in slush, or “Teketeke” which drags itself through the streets with on its arms, achieving a distinctive “Teke Teke” sound.

The Appearance

Betobetosan, like most spirit creatures, are invisible, which plays into their hand in their scheme to scare people. In most records, however, he is depicted as a white sphere with a mouth and 2 legs. On his feet he wears – how could it be otherwise – Geta sandals.

The Behavior

At night, he follows people who are on the move and adapts to their pace. In some regions he does this more at night on dark streets, in others it is said that he appears especially when one comes down from a small mountain. He follows his victim as long as possible, getting closer with each step. If the person then turns around, however, nothing can be seen. Even though Betobetosan is basically harmless, this phenomenon can have quite traumatic effects on its victims.

However, if you realize that you are being followed by a Betobetosan, there is a simple way to escape from it. All you have to do is stand on the side of the road and say “After you, betobetosan”. The footsteps will pass you by and disappear in the darkness.

Learn more about other yokai here!

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